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Vol 40, No 1 • JANUARY 2006 Php 70.


Quote in the Act
ISSN 0300-4155
“Fuller’s article uncovers a fissure in the
block-wall of government secrecy and gives us
Asian Magazine for Human Transformation a good look at the worm-infested core of
Through Education, Social Advocacy and Evangelization imperial rule. Global terrorism flows from
P.O. Box 2481, 1099 Manila, Philippines
Copyright 1974 by Social Impact Foundation, Inc.
Washington like a toxic river that has breached
its banks and threatens to flood everything in
Mike Whitney, of Washington, USA, annotating Max Fuller’s article
“Crying Wolf: Media Disinformation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq”
AUSTRALIA : Impact P.O. Box 2034, East Ivanhoe, Victoria 3079 (Global Research) which theorizes that United States intelligence agencies are

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Jl. Taman Srigunting 10, Semarang. with new realities is falsity.”
JAPAN : Enderle Book Co. Ltd., Ichico Bldg., 1-5 Yotsudya Shinjuku-ku, Archbishop Oscar Cruz, of Dagupan in the Philippines, expressing about
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PHILIPPINES : P.O. Box 2950, 1099 Manila terrorism, and a diplomatic legacy of
SINGAPORE : Select Books PTE. Ltd., 215 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 2/F 19,
Tanglin Road, Singapore 10 flexibility and openness toward Palestinians.”

TAIWAN : P.O. Box 8-146, Taipei 100 Michael Oren, senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and
THAILAND : NASAC, 2 Saensuk, Prachasongkroh Road, Bangkok 10. author of Six Days of War, opining on Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s
historical legacy.
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Published monthly by “He does have a driver’s license, but that
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S TAFF W RITERS minister of Israel who takes a similar course.”
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C IRCULATION & SALES MANAGER Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution, which generated resentment from the
LEAH KATRINA CARIASO Israeli government.
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2 IMPACT • January 2006

IMPAC T January 2006 / Vol 40 • No 1


Moral Ascendancy ........................................................ 25

COVER STORY Having traveled to another land at the opening
of this year, say, Hong Kong which is how far an
Peace in a Divided World ........................................... 16 'expiring miles' plane ticket could go, one couldn’t
help but make comparisons as a better option than
bewail like it was by the rivers of Babylon over the
misfortunes that has befallen to a dear homeland the
year past.
Hong Kong’s subway may be the best so far in
the whole world today—far better than the cavern-
ous ones in New York or the rough rails of France.
In this Asian neighbor, there is work and opportuni-
ties for a descent living swarm aplenty. Government
projects flow in abundance and are delivered maybe
as fast as budgets would magically disappear in the
Philippines without qualms or squalor. And there is
no problem with their political leaders who have
never been accused, at least of late, of stealing or
cheating or deceiving the populace.
But why the chasm of disparity? People in this
foreign land don’t even have the penchant of going
to mass on Sundays. Or attending Santo Niño
processions, kidded my companion albeit with a
ARTICLES tinge of sarcasm. They don’t have the seven sacra-
Globalization and its Impact on Catholic Higher ments and the Ten Commandments like we do. And
Education .......................................................................... 4 they don’t have a president who reportedly talks
directly with God, with much better facility than an
The Ateneo Center for Educational Development Archbishop in the North does or does not.
(ACED) ............................................................................... 8 There should be a hell of a problem somewhere.
Impact opens the year with a story on the issue
Happy and New? Think Again ................................. 12 of peace—an issue that is as old as mankind itself.
The Persistency of Insurgency in the Philippines . 14 To paraphrase rather non-exegetically the Letter of
Paul to the Romans, mankind has been groaning for
Sex and Gender .............................................................. 22 the coming of peace which, for Christians, is the
STATEMENTS coming of the Christ and the consequent transfor-
mation of realities into a new heaven and a new
In Truth, Peace: A New Year’s Message ............... 26 earth.
New Year’s Message .................................................... 27 But while founders of world religions preach
about the coming of peace through an inner trans-
DEPARTMENTS formation that leads to cosmic tranquility, world
Quote in the Act .............................................................. 2 leaders, as history bears, do not buy the theological
route to global harmony. For, simply put, politics—
CINEMA Review ......................................................... 23 being an exercise of power—and sustainable peace
Quotes in Quiz .............................................................. 23 may not be complementary companions at all. Which
is probably the reason why, the acquisition of nuclear
From the Blogs ............................................................... 24 arsenal and gadgets of strategy and war soar in
From the Inbox .............................................................. 28 annual budgets of governments dwarfing whatever
budgetary allocations there are that may promote
Vanilla Bytes ................................................................. 29 understanding and peace among nations. Read on.
News Briefs ...................................................................... 30

Volume 40 • Number 1 3

by Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP, DD

Nations of Economic been reformulating their trade and eco- differentiated national strategies with re-
Globalization nomic policies, in part to offer an attractive gard to labor and macro-economic policy.
domestic environment for foreign invest- Fiscal balance, for instance, has become a

lobalization has become a sort of ment, which is needed to complement their new dogma. The Maastricht Treaty of the
fashionable buzz-word. It is quite generally insufficient rate of domestic sav- European Union, which sets limits within
often said but seldom with the same ings. the budget deficit of its members, has to be
meaning. It is in fact one of those far-reaching Another dimension of economic glo- maintained.
concepts which are used by different people balization is thus a growing uniformity in Both international public opinion and
to explain facts which are of a completely the institutional and regulatory framework market behavios have also come to play a
different nature. Even when qualified as in all countries. For the globalization of role in redefining the range of possible
“economic”, globalization can still be associ- production to take place, rules in different actions by States. Information flows freely
ated with a variety of phenomena. countries need to be made similar, so that and rapidly. If, for example, the news is
The first notion of economic global- no artificial advantage prevails in any of disclosed that any particular country is
ization is that of an ever-growing expan- them. Examples of these rules are the having difficulties controlling its budget
sion of transborder financial flows and introduction of the World Trade Organiza- deficit or is going to hike its interests rates,
their impact upon the monetary and ex- tion (WTO) of international standards for world financial markets make decisions
change policies of national economies. intellectual property rights and trade re- based on that information, which will have
The effects of the financial dimension of lated aspects of investment measures. an impact on the country concerned. Coun-
globalization are somewhat disputed. If Matters that were once considered to fall tries, their leaders and the policies they are
the mobility of capital that flows across primarily within the domestic jurisdiction pursuing are under the close scrutiny of
borders can be seen as an efficient way to of each State are now subject to multilat- the world public opinion. Any misdeed or
allocate resources world-wide and to chan- eral disciplines. Naturally, there are limits step judged by these immaterial entities to
nel them to developing countries, their to such uniformity due to national differ- be in the wrong direction may exact penal-
volatility and their possible use for specu- ences. The interplay of global trends ties. Conversely, developments or deci-
lative attacks against currencies are toward uniformity and national identities sions construed to be positive are re-
thought to pose new threats to the eco- is a complex one. warded. International public opinion and,
nomic stability of countries. In other words, Finally, economic globalization is above all, markets tend to be conservative,
the virtually free movement of huge capital linked to a revolution in production pat- to follow certain orthodoxy in economic
flows creates both opportunities and risks. terns leading to a significant shift in the matters. They establish a pattern of eco-
Another notion is the globalization of comparative advantages of nations. The nomic conduct which admits little varia-
production and the ensuing expansion of competitive position of a country relative tion in a world of immense variety of na-
world trade flows. The domestic contents to others is determined more and more by tional realities. The complex process of
of most goods have diminished, and inter- the quality of its human resources, by adjustment must not ignore such diver-
mediate production stages now take place knowledge, by science and technology sity. This complex process requires a
in different countries. Final products— applied to production methods. Abun- change of attitude and a determination to
specifically technology intensive ones— dant labor and raw materials are less and fight against vested interests in the public
can hardly be considered to be full made in less a comparative advantage, to the ex- sector. But there is no alternative.
a given country. This is the result of the tent that they represent a diminishing share
interplay of several new trends, including Some Public Implications of Economic
of the value added in virtually all products.
reduction in the costs of the mobility of Globalization
This irreversible trend makes it unlikely for
production factors and the economies of countries in the South to succeed solely One may have the impression that the
scale required by increasingly sophisti- on relatively cheap labor and on natural globalization process responds only to
cated production processes. resources. market forces. From the perspective of
International trade of intermediate both the allocation of financial resources
goods is conducted primarily among in- The Consequences of Economic and decisions concerning productive in-
dustrial units of the same company. Cor- Globalization vestments, the market is really a decisive
porations frequently structure their activi- factor. But we should avoid the mistake of
ties to fit marketing and production strat- drawing, from this fact, misleading conclu-
The Changing Role of the State
egies designed to enhance their global or sions.
regional competitive position. Countries Hand in hand with economic global- The first such misleading conclusions
are selected for investment by those com- ization goes a change in the role of the would be to consider globalization as the
panies on the basis of the overall advan- State. result of market forces alone. This is not
tages they present. This has led to in- Globalization means that external vari- true. The framework within which the
creased competition for foreign invest- ables have an increased bearing on the market operates is politically defined. The
ment among countries, particularly devel- domestic agenda, narrowing the scope for power game among nations is not absent.
oping ones. As opposed to the sixties and national choices. Requirements for exter- Neither is the possibility of economic co-
even the seventies, when controls and nal competitiveness have led to greater operation among States. Foreign trade
restrictions were deemed necessary to homogeneity of the institutional and regu- negotiations are still conducted through
discipline the operations by transnationals latory frameworks of States and these re- dialogue among States, in particular those
in their markets, developing countries have quirements have left less room for widely- concerning the definition of the rules in

4 IMPACT • January 2006

Globalization and its
Impact on Catholic
Higher Education
First of a series

(This series is a reprint with permission from a recent book edited by Msgr. Jose R. Rojas entitled Light to All )

Volume 40 • Number 1 5
G l o b a l i z a t i o n a n d i t s I m p a c t

which competition occurs. Economic clout integration of Asian economies to the Asian interests and downgrade American
is a key factor in these negotiations, as well global market spurred rapid growth across influence in the South.
as in the settlement of bilateral trade dis- Asia. Rising living standards made people, The West must recognize the legiti-
putes. In some cases, economic powers especially the local elite and upper middle macy of Asian concern over eroding val-
invoke their influence to circumvent the class families, willing to tolerate govern- ues and social cohesion. Internal frag-
very multilateral disciplines they them- ments which were authoritarian, which mentation is an authentic threat in the
selves have proposed. Subsidies in agri- were hiding behind public relations slo- multi-ethnic state that characterizes much
culture clearly illustrate this trend. The gans such as performance-based legiti- of Asia. In turn, Asia could recognize that
recent movements towards the creation of macy, guided democracy, constitutional Western countries have also been buf-
schemes of regional integration, which are authoritarianism, or activist government, feted by globalization and that managing
characteristics of the nineties, are also in countries such as South Korea, Indone- its challenges will be a central item on the
initiatives with which governments have sia and China, where growing prosperity policy agenda of Washington, London,
tried to influence the direction of eco- and political repression went hand in hand. Paris and Bonn long into the 21st century.
nomic globalization. The feeling was that behind the Asian This Asian experience of globaliza-
The second dangerous conclusion embrace of globalization, economics could tion defines the challenge of globalization
would be to transform the market into a be separated from politics. It was a west- in this part of the world: to make the
form of ideology, according to which ev- ern notion, which imposed cultural norms transition from recognizing the existence
erything that falls into line with market in their Asian clients. That assumption, of global problems to devising concrete
forces is good, positive and brings devel- needs to say, was and has always been in instruments and establishing effective
opment, whereas every political decision doubt. Politics always goes with busi- mobilization for change among Asian
meant to regular competition forces is ness, government, military, church and countries.
viewed as negative. diplomacy in Asia. Failure to observe this It is in this context that I see the
It is precisely the recognition that truth now have resulted in millions thrown challenge to Asian universities and to
there are limits to the market that enables out from work in Thailand, Indonesia, Catholic universities. They are the high-
us, developing countries, to act politically South Korea, Russia; and even Japan and est formalized institutions of learning,
in defense of our national interests. But Hong Kong have suffered from the Asian research, instruction, extension services
the forms of such action, of regulating the financial crisis. Governments have been and social critique. They have teams of
globalization process, vary among differ- forced to provide more resources to com- professors, instructors and research
ent developing countries. Whether or not pensate the victims of global economics schooled in different disciplines and
we want it, economic globalization is a new and financial forces. branches of knowledge. In Asia, during
international order. We must accept this It has become clear that embracing this critical period in its history, the uni-
with a sense of realism lest our actions be globalization demands political, social,
devoid of any effective impact. This does cultural costs. Transparency, account-
not imply political inertia, but a whole new ability and the rule of law are necessary for
perspective of how to act on the interna- global economy—that is, the guidance of
tional stage. globalists from the West. Given Asia’s
background, these globalists are suspects
From Miracle to Stricken and less welcomed, despite the rush to
Economies embrace them by Asia’s elite sectors. Some
Asian leaders therefore have denounced
The issue of globalization is crucial in globalization as a new form of western
this part of the world. In East Asia and imperialism. Malaysian Prime Minister
Southeast Asia, the one-time miracle Mahatir bin Mohammed has accused the
economies are struggling today to stop West of using financial markets to bring
the destruction, which swept through their Asia to its knee. Similar sentiments have
societies in a matter of months the impres- been voiced by officials and intellectuals
sive growth they accomplished through of China, Indonesia, India and Japan. Even
many years of hard work. Policymakers Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew has been shak-
and economists from Japan to India are ing his head in pointing out that Asia is
pointing to globalization as a threat to suffering such devastation without being
national well-being, pointing to open bor- responsible for the financial crisis directly.
ders as formidable doors beyond their However, no Asian country appear
control to stem the free flow of finance, likely to reverse course and reject global-
business, trade, ideas and cultural values ization. For Asians, the North Korean and
from the North to the South, from the Burmese models are viable alternatives to
capitalist societies to the poor economies, the global economy. Governments of
from the industrialized and stable coun- South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and the
tries to the agriculture-based and unstable Philippines have welcomed the opportu-
economies. nity for reform. But if the current signs of
Before the crisis, many Asian govern- recovery in Asia fail to live up to expecta-
ments welcomed the forces of globaliza- tions, a lasting backlash could develop
tion, as market liberalization and broader against the West. It could further harm

6 IMPACT • January 2006

o n C a t h o l i c H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n

versities can contribute to make the tran- 1. Universities have failed to shift from traditional topics to contem-
sition successful. Unfortunately, taking their focus of attention and energy porary issues is a common occur-
the forefront in this issue are the research from the traditional actors of the rence further leaving the universi-
think tanks, government and international institution itself, its faculty and ties behind other alternative
foundations—not universities, not experts, and its own primary institutions emerging to respond to
Catholic universities, particularly our concerns, to the more significant these new phenomena.
Catholic universities—still steep in the actors today of students, employers 2. Open debates and topics. In the
and society in general. By being hundreds of seminars, workshops,
traditional arts and sciences, are unable so inward-looking, universities and conferences conducted by
to move into new areas of intellectual have missed out in addressing the universities every year, involving
challenge and to engage in public debate concerns of their most important in-house faculty and professors or
and scrutiny. stakeholders—the students and invited resource persons from
So far removed are the universities society. industry, science, government, the
and academics that they themselves are 2. Universities have not become community, international scholars,
not called in to help sharpen the global- sufficiently aware of the rise of the there is a consistent lack of focus
ization issues or to identify alternative alternative institutions which on in-depth movements and
approaches or propose solutions benefi- provide learning, skills, knowl- developments which are the
cial to the welfare of the poor and salaried edge, and non-formal education burning topics occupying the
middle class. The elite, who comprise and training programs for a wide biggest, most powerful, and often
these discussants are not concerned range of clientele—training hidden or covert institutions of the
about whether their rhetoric will boomer- institutions by private business, world.
research centers of government 3. Research investigations. There is a
ang back to their face and plunge them agencies, development agencies of wide dearth of lack of concern or
down to the problems with which the multinational corporations, investigations into these topics by
poor have to grapple with. They are foundations, etc. These alternative the different research institutes or
above the negative impacts of these in- agencies tend to become more cost- bodies of universities that they
terventions and are equipped with re- effective, market-oriented, flexible virtually get buried in the forgot-
sources to move above and beyond these and responsive to changing forces ten inventory of should be universi-
problems. Why this palpable absence in in the external environment. ties researches.
the public discourse on globalization? 3. These alternative learning and 4. Extension services. In their
There are several reasons or causes. Let education/training institutions extracurricular activities, universi-
us go over them briefly. have incorporated the latest ties fail to bring into their ambit of
communications media, informa- operations the type and kind of
tion technology, and skilled community services which would
resource persons in their delivery expose the general public to the
systems, making the age-old complex and impactful programs
lecture room, blackboard and and policies of the world’s most
chalk, and lecture methodologies powerful institutions and agencies.
appear so old, decrepit, ineffective,
and out-of-date.
4. They are also one with the Particular Implications for
contemporary and future world, Catholic Institutions of Higher
attuned to the prevailing questions Learning
and probities which touch on the
future of mankind and this endan- The issues of globalization impose on
gered planet. our institutions of higher learning addi-
To be able to truly and effectively tional challenges. Globalization is a his-
assist our counties make the transition the torical dynamics that embraces not only
universities in Asia must seriously look the realm of economics but also that of
into the following: science, history, culture, and religion. It
1. Instruction and programs of calls for a greater integration and confor-
studies. These are new curricula mity on the part of individual and groups
or modern interventions based on as necessary for survival in human soci-
market demand studies which can ety. Although some thinkers suggest that
incorporate current events into a it can remedy the world’s development
wide variety of programs such as problems, its future is frightening in view
liberal arts, economics, history, of its inherent contradictions that are ethi-
social science, political science,
etc. Too often, the curricula cally unsound and economically inappro-
contents were designated a decade priate in the struggle for just, sustainable,
ago, which hardly any updating; and participatory societies.
more with no reference to the Therefore our Catholic Universities
issues which deeply intrude into should bring into the public debate on
people’s lives. The failure of globalization our Social Teachings, the
universities to move their studies Catholic ethics vis-à-vis globalization. I

Volume 40 • Number 1 7

he Ateneo Center for Educational advantage, our educational institutions University. Since 1997, ACED has trained
Development (ACED) was estab- are expected to achieve these twin goals: a total of 1,700 public school teachers in
lished by the Ateneo de Manila Uni- Raise our national average in comparison about 14 DepEd divisions in Metro Ma-
versity in 1997 in response to the call of to other countries on the one hand and, nila, Laguna, Pampanga, Aklan,
“closing the gaps” – the gap between our reduce the lower average variation below Kabankalan City (Negros Occ.) and Davao
country and our Asian neighbors, and at that national average on the other hand. City.
the same time the gap between Ateneo and While the policy of universal public edu- The Center recently conducted an
the rest of the country. In a larger vision, cation has its merits, there is no denying impact assessment of the PSTTP through
as a Christian Catholic University, closing that this has stressed the quality of our a special project called Baliktanaw
this gap means continuing Jesus’ mission educational system near its limits. Teachers’ Congress, Revisiting the
to create a community, within our families, ACED-PSTTP on February 20, 2004. This
within our country and with our neigh- The ACED in Action: provided ACED an opportunity to ask
bors, to be able to share and care for one past trainees of the teacher training pro-
another, closing the gap between God and As a response, the ACED was estab- gram of specific improvements in their
us. lished to provide a systematic, high impact teaching career and classroom manage-
Focusing on the public educational and visible program of support for public ment styles. The survey revealed that on
system where more than 90% of our Fili- school systems in the Philippines. Specifi- professional development, majority of
pino children are enrolled, ACED became cally, the Center focuses it efforts in four teachers were (1) asked to teach a higher
an important instrument of the university major areas of educational development: section, (2) given additional teaching
in utilizing its resources to reach out to (1) Teacher Training and Development, (2) load and (3) given supervisory work af-
public schools, as a commitment to its Management Development for Schools, ter they have participated in the ACED
mission—an Ateneo that is not simply (3) Research & Development, and (4) Cur- program.
involved in the formation of individuals riculum, Textbooks and Instructional Ma- In terms of classroom management,
who will be leaders in bringing about de- terials Development. teachers were able to (1) promote coop-
velopment and change in the erative learning among their
country but as an institution students; (2) construct quiz-
playing a role in institutional zes/tasks that promote criti-
change and development, "We strive to give them the best cal thinking; (3) write lesson
particularly in the education
programs run by our best people. plans that are more appropri-
ate; (4) use other resources
In a larger perspective, But we also acknowledge that even (print/non-print) to enrich
ACED responds to the re- with the best program in mind, we learning; (5) develop inno-
newed call to involve pri- vative instructional tech-
vate entities in improving ca- must remain sensitive to the unique nologies; and (6) conduct
pacities of public schools, conditions of the public schools." new/alternative class activi-
especially during a time of ties and instructional tech-
political and economic cri- nologies.
sis: real per-capita spending
on basic public education
Principal Empowerment Program
continues to lose impact as population The Public School Teacher Training
grows and teaching productivity has re- Program (PSTTP) Among the new programs of ACED is
mained low as evidenced in the declining Its flagship program, the ACED Pub- the Leadership Program for public elemen-
achievement levels of Philippine public lic School Teacher Training Program tary and secondary school principals.
schools vis-à-vis their Asian counterparts (PSTTP), provides public school teachers ACED realized that the development and
in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. with opportunities to improve their con- training of public school heads as organi-
International standardized tests like tent development and instructional skills. zational professionals is as important as
TIMSS (Trends in International Mathemat- This gives participants a stronger sense of its PSTTP, as this addresses the problem
ics and Science Study), which shows that proper instruction and classroom man- of managing scarce school resources. This
we are ranked 3rd from the bottom, have agement, in order to create a better learn- program is a whole year program that kicks-
made the obvious more threatening: our ing environment. A team of faculty from off with a three-day and two-night live-in
educational system is gradually falling the Loyola Schools, Grade School and colloquium that will provide a venue for
apart. These findings are consistent even High School develops the modules and conversations on the important aspects of
with our national exams, revealing that conduct the classes every Saturday morn- their roles, common concerns and chal-
only half of our students in the public ing at the Ateneo campus for a total of 80 lenges as school heads.
school have mastery of the core subjects hours (about 20 consecutive half-day ses- This activity also hopes to prepare
in our curriculum (52 percent in Elemen- sions spread out from July to February of them in the succeeding academic mod-
tary, NEAT 2001; 53 percent in Secondary, the school year). Public elementary and ules/sessions in the school year by
NSAT, 2001). secondary school teachers are trained in strengthening their competencies, improv-
These macro problems have a large the areas of English, Mathematics, Sci- ing their beliefs and attitudes, and in the
implication for us as a Developing state. ence and Information Technology. At the process, increasing their effectiveness;
Our main resource as a nation remains in end of the training, participants receive a after which eight academic modules are
our skilled labor. For us to sustain this Certificate from the Ateneo de Manila designed based on the pressing problems

8 IMPACT • January 2006

Fr. Dan McNamara, S.J. of Ateneo de Manila
University’s Physics Department
demonstrates a physics concept during
ACED’s Supervisor’s Training Seminar for
public schools.

The Ateneo Center for

Educational Development
The Ateneo de Manila University’s Response to the Call for
National Development through Public Education

by Anne Lan H. Kagahastian-Candelaria

and issues raised during the colloquium. volvement should be complemented with lessons and insights on how it can fuse
These will then be delivered by a team micro-level initiatives so that the target macro-level interventions and micro-level
of administrators and faculty from the Grade beneficiaries—the pupils in the public involvement. Furthermore, SSPEEd pro-
School, High School and the Education school—can fully experience the impact vided a framework on how institutions can
Department of the Loyola Schools begin- of such interventions. Thus, from May assist the public schools and create im-
ning August through February. They are 2001 to June 2004, ACED managed a spe- pact in the surrounding urban poor com-
partnered with respected practitioners from cial project launched by the Ateneo de munities as well.
the public education sectors in both the Manila University in partnership with Mr. At this juncture, the ACED finds ripe
development and delivery of the modules. Washington Sycip and Mr. Alfredo Velayo opportunities to link its more institutional-
with an immediate goal of building commit- ized networks and programs with a more
School-Community Development ment among the school leadership and grassroots approach towards addressing
Framework school community, the Local School sustainability, effectivity and efficiency.
During the course of ACED’s dy- Boards and the business and civic groups. Thus, ACED has since then moved into its
namic engagement with public schools Dubbed, Project SSPEEd (Sectoral Sup- other educational development areas.
and other major sectors involved in public port for Public Elementary Education), the Specifically, ACED remains an active
education, it realized that macro-level in- project provided ACED with significant catalyst in the public schools and commu-

Volume 40 • Number 1 9
A t e n e o C e n t e r f o r E d u

ning with the school and community and

(3) Capability-building training/programs
that will support the implementation of
the school plans. ACED firmly supports
the precept that schools and community
should establish a good communication
system between one another to help iden-
tify problems as well as solutions con-
cerning their children’s education and
For this school year, ACED has al-
ready organized two school-based strate-
gic planning workshops at the Ateneo on
May 6-8, 2005 for Bagong Silangan El-
ementary School and Lupang Pangako
Elementary School and on May 26-28, 2005
for Payatas B Annex Elementary School
and Payatas C Elementary School.
Facilitated by seasoned community
developers, the workshops helped repre-
sentatives of the school and community-
teachers, principals, parents, pupils,
barangay and LGU officials identify prob-
lems and construct feasible plans for three
years. Each completed school plan be-
Student of Payatas-B Elementary School doing remedial work in Mathematics. comes ACED’s basis for crafting capabil-
ity-building programs in partnership with
nity as it has committed to support to the cumstance clearly puts the school in a various institutions within and without
following public elementary schools: clear disadvantage, the school leadership the University.
Payatas B Annex Elementary School has succeeded in increasing the number of
classrooms and computers. Research and Development
Located in Barangay Payatas Trese,
Payatas B Annex Elementary School has a Bagong Silangan Elementary School Grounding on all these work, ACED
population of about 820 pupils. Although This school is in Barangay Bagong believes that it should engage itself in
the latter has had a hundred percent Silangan, an urban poor community adja- research initiatives that will help other
completion and graduation rate since it cent to Payatas, not far from the Batasan institutions set-up their own programs for
was established, it is ironic that it has dealt Complex that houses the House of Repre- the public education sector. Its recent
perennially with non-readers at all levels. sentatives. Bagong Silangan Elementary research endeavor, entitled “The Local
The school started in 2001 with 81 non- School has a population of about 6,000 School Board: Managing Local Reforms in
readers that ranged from 35 in Grade one to pupils including more than 200 Education” takes a look at four cases of
six. With the constant influx of pupils preschoolers. Even with infrastructural Local School Boards that have managed,
every year, the school currently has 199 improvements and the construction of two developed and sustained programs that
non-readers, majority of which are found three-storey buildings over the past two uplifted the quality of public education in
in the first grade. years, overcrowding remains to be a prob- their localities. The study analyzes impor-
lem. tant issues in reforming public education
Payatas C (Madja-as) Elementary School This intimate partnership with the and good governance such as the role of
The school is one of the most de- schools allows ACED to understand in- leadership in reform, approaches to a more
pressed urban poor areas in Quezon City. depth the situation being faced by the participatory process of reform, and trans-
Although the school was established in public education sector as well as try to parency and accountability in resource
1983 through community bayanihan ef- adopt and implement intervention pro- mobilization, generation and utilization.
forts, it has been deprived of infrastructural grams that will help the school as an The study was collaboration between
improvements, particularly new school “institution” (or a system). This under- ACED, Ateneo School of Government,
buildings, since the school lot is not titled taking is rooted in the objective of prepar- Ateneo de Manila Political Science De-
to the school or to the government. ing the school and community initiate partment and Synergeia Foundation. It is
and manage future systems and programs funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Lupang Pangako Elementary School for the improvement of the whole school Foundation through the Ateneo Center
The school is located about a hun- in the areas of infrastructure, human re- for Social Policy.
dred meters from the dumpsite in Payatas, source development, networking, and
Quezon City. Expectedly, majority of its professional management of school and The ADMU Soul: We Believe
60,000 residents are informal settlers and its relations with the community. This
relocates, around 15% of whom survive by endeavor involves three stages: (1) In all of ACED’s undertakings,
garbage scavenging. Although such cir- School-based Research, (2) Strategic Plan- whether in its Teacher Training Program,

10 IMPACT • January 2006

u c a t i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t

Leadership Program or its schools-and- amount equivalent to a 50% tuition dis- we must remain sensitive to the unique
community-based work, it seeks the sup- count for public school teachers currently conditions of the public schools. We
port of all stakeholders in public educa- attending the ACED programs each year consult with our best people, but we also
tion. This call of unity, to come together for the last 7 years. And even if now that consult with people who know what is
as one big community, to address the units are no longer required, the Univer- suited and needed by the public schools—
problems of public education has en- sity has graciously offered discounts for the public school themselves.
abled ACED and the University to extend the use of facilities, classrooms, library, For the past 8 years, ACED has en-
its resources to more teachers, principals and other resources to all ACED partici- gaged itself in various programs that helped
and schools. Indeed, the burden be- pants for the duration of their program. shape the lives of children, teachers, school
comes light if everyone helps carry the Students are also encouraged to reach out heads, and parents by showing them that
basket. to the public schools. In fact on various if we just work together and trust one
The private sector and civic groups, occasions, ACED has conducted advo- another, the crisis can be contained and
over the years, have been generous part- cacy sessions for both students and fac- eventually solved. However, the most
ners to both the ACED’s training pro- ulty of the University concerning the cri- valuable realization derived from this ex-
grams as well as some school-based sis being faced by the public schools perience is that, in the University’s at-
projects. The local governments through today. tempt to heed the call to “close the gaps”
its Local School Board readily allocates between our country and our neighbors
counterpart funding in every program Lessons Learned and the Road and between Ateneo and the rest of the
that their teachers, principals and schools Ahead public schools in the country, we have
participate in. Funding support also actually closed another kind of gap that is
comes from various government offi- There is one big lesson to be learned of equal, if not of more, importance as
cials ranging from Congressmen to City in the ACED experience of bringing forth well—closing the gap between ourselves.
Councilors. Civil society groups, local social development through addressing As a big university, the Ateneo has nu-
NGOs, local neighborhood groups, the needs of public education, that is— merous academic units as well as non-
PTCA (Parent Teacher Community As- TRUST. We, as a nation, should learn how academic offices catering to thousand of
sociations) also participate in the plan- to trust each other in critical and challeng- students from the Grade School, High
ning and implementation of the school- ing times. As an institution, ACED main- School, Loyola Schools and the Profes-
based projects. tains a strong working relationship be- sional Schools. Finding a common direc-
Internally, the various units in the tween the DepEd, the various government tion in fulfilling that mission of serving
Ateneo de Manila University supported officials, private sector, civil society be- others through public educational devel-
the ACED programs in many touching cause it has been operating on a relation- opment programs has transformed the
ways. Faculty and administrators will- ship grounded on the credibility and trust- Ateneo from a rigid academic institution
ingly devote their Saturdays to train pub- worthiness of the Ateneo. We strive to into a community of people who is commit-
lic school teachers and principals despite give them the best programs run by our ted in transforming this nation into some-
their full academic load from Monday to best people. But we also acknowledge thing great.
Friday. The University allocates an that even with the best program in mind, The challenge now is to multiply
these programs into the various prov-
Dr. Arsenio Honrejas, Payatas-C Elementary School Principal, with PCTA officers and teachers during ACED’s inces in order to hasten public educa-
School/Community-based Planning Workshop. tional reforms that will help rebuild our
country. ACED receives a lot of request
to conduct programs and similar endeav-
ors in the provinces. Since ACED coor-
dinates and utilizes only existing re-
sources and efforts of the university, it
can only answer certain requests if there
are available resources at that time. Thus,
ACED calls on other academic institu-
tions to consider offering educational
development programs to help uplift the
quality of public education towards a
faster recovery of our nation. After all,
our nation can become great again if we all
work towards improving our educational
system—hopefully, for them not to com-
mit the same mistakes we made. I
(Anne Lan H. Kagahastian-Candelaria is currently the
Managing Director of the Ateneo Center for Educational
Development or ACED. She also teaches
Fundamentals of Public Management, Current Issues
in Philippine Politics and Governance, and Introduction
to Politics and Governance at the Ateneo de Manila
University. The above article is her paper presentation
during the 2005 National Convention of the Catholic
Educational Association of the Philippines held last
September 14-16, 2005 in Davao City – Ed.)

Volume 40 • Number 1 11

very beginning of a year I’m always Galatians tells us that the life of this Triune God
tempted to call out, “We say, ‘HAPPY was given to us, as “adopted sons”, through the
NEW YEAR!’ But is the yearly noisy mer- Son born on Christmas Day but that this Son was
rymaking all there is to happiness? Are our new “born of a woman” (Gal 4:4) who, we know, is
acquisitions, new cars, new clothes, new pairs Mary.
of shoes, new year’s resolutions and other ex- If someone helped you get a promotion at
ternals all there is to being new?” This is the work or in your career or profession you will, no
challenge that thinking people, the young ones doubt, be very grateful to that person. Mary
and the young once, ask: Is HAPPY NEW YEAR helped us obtain the highest and most unde-
really HAPPY and NEW? Is it a reality or just a served promotion from being ‘images and like-
stale wish? I once greeted my spiritual director nesses of God’ to being ‘children of God’ by
in high school seminary, “Happy New Year, consenting to be the Mother of God’s Son. For
Father!” His answer was as quick as it was this reason we owe Mary an immeasurable and
startling, “It’s up to you!” I thought it was a eternal debt of gratitude. Indeed for this reason
witty way of saying that what we do with our alone we owe Mary every expression of honor
lives is one big factor to making our year happy we can give, otherwise known as ‘hyperdulia’
and new, save for the fact that very often even (the highest honor/veneration given to a human
our best decisions and actions don’t translate being, higher than that we give to the saints) but
into happiness or even newness. not equal to the worship we render only to God
What or who really makes us happy and himself, otherwise called ‘latria’.
new? We don’t have to rack our brains for the A saying has it that the greatest honor we
answer. Right. Only God does. Because of this give a person is imitating that person. The evan-
we start the year, for example, with the celebra- gelist Luke tells us that one essential character
tion of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. of Mary worth imitating is her total openness to
Why? Because she is filled with God. She is our God, especially as reflected in her deeply prayer-
example and model par excellence of the truly ful attitude to the events surrounding her life
happy person with an endlessly new freshness and that of her Son Jesus. Luke’s expression,
in her. The archangel Gabriel describes her char- “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on
acteristic situation at the Annunciation by the them in her heart” (Lk 2:19) is another way of
Greek greeting “kecharitomene”, (“Hail, favored saying Mary was a deeply prayerful person
one. The Lord is with you” [Lk 1:28]). In truth, since she constantly listened to God.
the Lord was dwelling in her womb as he has Prayer, according to the experience of the
always been dwelling in her whole person. When Mother of God, the happiest and the ever new
we say she is the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have ‘solitary boast of our race’, is listening not only
to remember that ‘blessed’ is another expres- to what God is saying by word, i.e., through the
sion of the original Greek ‘favored one’ which is Scriptures, but also to what he is saying non-
translated into the Latin ‘beata’, that is, ‘happy’. verbally, i.e., through the events of life. Mary
Mary is happy because her whole self, her whole stands out as a pray-er or person who prays:
life is filled with the Lord’s presence. God’s constantly open and humbly submissive to God
presence in her womb makes happiness pos- in everything. From the very beginning Mary is
sible for others too. So says Elizabeth in Lk 1:44: filled with God whose presence allowed no trace
“For at the moment the sound of your greeting of original sin to touch her. There is little won-
reached my ears, the infant in my womb leapt for der, then, that she became the Mother of God.
joy.” But also because of her openness to God who is
The book of Numbers confirms this convic- the Fount of all Truth, in Mary we find perfect
tion that blessedness comes from God because peace. In fact, who can forget that being Mother
the very blessing God asks Moses to bestow on of God, Mary is also Mother of the Prince of
Israel is one that points to God himself and his Peace? This year’s papal theme expresses it: “In
acts among his people and the world. “The Lord truth, peace”.
said to Moses: ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons Pope Benedict XVI in his first message on
and tell them: This is how you shall bless the the 2006 World Day of Peace, says that peace is
Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and founded on the truth, truth about God and truth
keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, about who we are. For example he says that there
and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you are two present threats to peace in our world:
kindly and give you peace!” (Numb 6:22-26). nihilism and fundamentalism, the root of terror-
Experts of the Scriptures say that these words ism. Both teach us lies about God and ourselves.
are, in a real sense, revelatory of God as Trinity Nihilism denies “God’s existence and his provi-
and of the Triune God’s distinct acts as Father, dent presence in history”; fundamentalism
namely, being Creator and Protector; as Son, strives to impose its perceived truth(s) about
namely, being Revealer of Truth (of God and of God and thus “disfigures his loving and merciful
man); and as Holy Spirit, namely, being Inspirer countenance, replacing him with idols made in
and Source of Peace. St. Paul in his letter to the its own image” (Benedict XVI, “The Problem of

12 IMPACT • January 2006

Happy and New?
Think Again
by Rev. Euly B. Belizar, Jr., SThD

Truth and Untruth is Concern of Every the best expression of true religion, not
Man and Woman,” Message for ’06 violent imposition of our religious
World Day of Peace, n. 10). In conse- views. If we as individuals and as com-
quence, these two threats try to make munities truly follow in her steps we
us believe two lies: that we can either would be able to experience peace which
live without God or impose on others, St. Augustine calls “tranquillitas or-
even by violent and unjust means, our dinis” (the ‘tranquility of order’), ex-
convictions about him. Quoting John plained by Pope Benedict XVI the Holy
Paul II’s message on the 2002 World Father as “a situation which ultimately
Day of Peace, the Holy Father reiter- enables the truth about man to be fully
ates, “Those who kill by acts of terror- respected and realized” (Message for
ism actually despair of humanity, of life, ’06 World Day of Peace, n. 4). What is
of the future. In their view, everything the truth about man? That we are God’s
is to be hated and destroyed” (John children, brothers and sisters to one
Paul II, Message on the 2002 Word Day another and to all other human beings.
of Peace, n. 6). Therein lies the key to peace.
How do we deal as Christians with Henry Ford was once asked the
the threats of nihilism and fundamen- secret of his successful marriage on its
talism? For a very good start, let’s look 50 th anniversary. He answered: “I use
on Mary. Her pervasive openness to the same formula that you see with my
God through prayerful listening to his cars: I stick to one model.” We can also
Word is the bane of nihilism. Her loving be successful men and women of peace
attention to Elizabeth and the newly by sticking to one human model: the
married couple at Cana who ran out of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
wine teaches us that service in love is Mother of Peace. I

Volume 40 • Number 1 13

he raid in Albuera, Leyte, about 570 ally approved to protect the panelists. On Adviser on the Peace Process Rene Sarmiento.
km southeast of Manila, started at October 5, 2005, however, the government The Norwegian government is consid-
8:30 p.m. local time January 6 when suspended the JASIG as a response to the ering possible setback in its role as neutral
a leader of New People’s Army (NPA) NDF’s persistent refusal to peace negotia- facilitator had it aligned itself from the said
rebel group shouted, “attack!” No one tions and continued atrocities committed by terrorist listing. Norway has been active
was hurt when 15 rebels stormed a police the rebel forces. Just last January 10, commu- participating settlements all over the world.
station adjacent to the municipal hall but nist rebels attacked three mobile phone trans- The first round of the resumption of
they carted away 21 pieces of M-16 rifles mission towers. The government also con- peace talks was held in Oslo in April 2001.
and nine .38 caliber pistols deposited at demned the use of landmines by the rebels in The GRP and the NDF Peace Panel approved
the police’s armory. Few meters away from their offensives as violation of the Compre- to cooperate in finishing the Comprehensive
the station were around 40 more insur- hensive Agreement on Respect for Human Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms
gents serving as lookout. To slow down Rights and International Humanitarian Law within six months from June 2001. Unfortu-
any pursuing rescue team, they burned (CARHRIHL). With the move, 97 NDF per- nately, during the second round in June
tires and strewn rocks and other rubbish sonnel covered by the JASIG with standing 2001, the GRP postponed indefinitely the
on the road as they fled aboard two vans warrants of arrest can be arrested and the peace talks until 2004 because of the killing
and a multi-purpose cab. Nine days after, suspension of their criminal proceedings can of Colonel Rodolfo Aguinaldo by the NPA.
4 soldiers were killed and eight were in- be lifted The Norwegians are very much inter-
jured in an ambush in Motiong, Samar Testing the government’s sincerity to ested in the progress of the peace process.
province. This recent attack is reportedly pursue peace, the NDF is desirous that the They were concerned when the talks were
intended to give a punch to the govern- government resolve the following issues disrupted because of Aguinaldo’s death.
ment forces as rebels made good on their before the Gov’t-NDF talks are resumed: But Norway has always been open to host
vow to intensify offensives. Terrorist listing. The NDF demands the the talks whenever the two parties are ready.
It has been more than year now since the government to at least speak out against the
negotiations between the Arroyo govern- US and European “terrorist” listing of the More road blocks
ment and the communist rebels aimed at CPP-NPA-NDF. “Instead of protesting US
ending the five-decade-long conflict was intervention, the Arroyo regime in fact invites There seems to be a bigger problem.
suspended with still no substantial progress it,” the CPP said in a statement. Negotiations were said to resume in October
in sight. Peace remains as vague as ever. A Indemnification of human rights victims. 2005 but were postponed again after the com-
framework to guide the actual peace talks in Almost 10, 000 victims of human rights viola- munist rebels called for President Gloria
fact have already been made ever since the tions under the Marcos dictatorship have Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignation following a
past administrations but clashes of opinions won their case in the US Court of Hawai. But jueteng expose and the alleged wiretapped
and apparent distrust on both sides is on top. NDF protested that the government reamin tapes that implicated the President in poll fraud.
In August 2004, the National Demo- “unjust to these victims by preventing them The CPP-NPA-NDF has been encour-
cratic Front (NDF) postponed formal nego- from seeking justice” in the Philippines. aging mass movement for the ouster of Presi-
tiations with the government “to comply Release of political prisoners. During the dent Arroyo. “She is declared by the people
with its obligations” according to the Hague formal peace talks in Oslo on June 22, 2004, the as unfit to govern because of loss of trust
Joint Declaration approved in 1992 and other NDF negotiating panel presented a list of 270 and credibility due to evidence of massive
agreements. It proclaims the need for peace political prisoners and asked for their release. cheating in the elections, corruption and
talks to address the roots of the conflict and Of high priority are some Mamburao farmers, subservience to the US.”
arrive at reforms. At least three substantive the sick and the elderly, women and children, The NDF proposed that the Arroyo
issues awaited discussion: constitutional and those whose release orders were signed administration should be replaced a transi-
reforms, socio-economic reforms and dispo- already by President Arroyo in 2001 but have tional council composed of representatives
sition of forces that are the core of the not yet been released to date. of different mass movements and the broad
present armed conflict. Acts of killings. The NDF urged the united front but stated that they are not
President Arroyo announced her plans government to make effective steps to stop going to participate in such council. “Such
for furthering peace talks as one of the key the killings of human rights advocates and council shall be the field of work of the legal
issues to be tackled by her government this militant leaders and members. Alliance for the democratic movement.”
year. Whether the process will move on, it Advancement of People’s Rights documented But the government is still determined
remains to be seen. Apparently, the peace more than 400 extra-judicial killings and 130 to push the peace negotiation this year.
dialogue with the National Democratic Front disappearances since Arroyo assumed power Whether the mired negotiations be-
(NDF) is at a crucial juncture. In fact, Luis in January 2001. tween the Government and the NDF will
Jalandoni, NDF spokesman admitted that succeed, it’s still anybody’s guess. “There’s
the chance for peace talks is already dim. The Host country a sparkle of hope for as long as there are
rebel group had broken off formal negotia- Filipinos who call as absurd the killing of
tions last year and cited government’s fail- Little headway has been made. Norway Filipinos by Filipinos,” says a peace advo-
ure to honor agreements it had forged with would not align itself with the US and Euro- cate. But the roads for a resolution to this one
them. pean list of terrorist organizations. “It is a of the world’s oldest insurgency problem are
positive development. This means that Nor- present, and peace advocates said that ev-
way is still willing to continue their role as ery administration should pursue, even if it
Prejudicial questions
third-party facilitator in the peace talks be- has to keep its patience to the limit for its
In 1995, the Joint Agreement on Safety tween the GRP and the CPP-NPA,” says quest for a genuine reconciliation with all
and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) was mutu- Deputy Chief of the Office of the Presidential anti-government groups in the country.

14 IMPACT • January 2006

pathizers and members started to increase
and mutated into an armed struggle thru the
NPA, CPP’s military arm formed in 1969,
against Marcos dictatorship. Its political arm

The Persistence of
or the umbrella organization of all leftists-
oriented groups in the country—the NDF,
was set up in the 1970s. At its climax in the
1980s, the NPA controlled more than 25,000

Insurgency in the
troops and drew middle-class support for
fighting the Marcos regime. Its ranks at
present, however, dwindled to an estimated

8,000 but still the rebels have become more
active in conducting offensives with gov-
ernment forces in the previous months.
Immediately after former President
Aquino came to power in 1986, she started
talks with the NDF but the negotiations
collapsed in 1987. More dialogues have been
by Roy Q. Lagarde made by the next administrations—from
Ramos to Arroyo, but so far, they have not
been successful.
Communism in Eastern Europe col-
lapsed for a number of reasons. One factor
was because it had no political basis or
support. It was riddled with economic prob-
lems and, in comparison to capitalism, was a
complete failure. More so, like their former
comrades in Russia and Eastern Europe,
communism is dead in the hearts and minds
of its people in China. Now, even communist
party leaders are conceding that private
enterprises are there to stay as an “important
part of the socialist, market economy.” Why
has communism lingered like a malady in the
While much of Asia has discarded com-
munism for capitalism, resilience of commu-
nism still persists in the Philippines. The
reasons are simple, according to analysts.
Poverty and social inequity are growing, and
the political levers are held by the landown-
ing Philippine elite, which has dragged its
feet on agrarian reform since the restoration
of democracy in 1986. Even our government’s
The NDF has yet to decide again with as equal and wealth is distributed equally counter- communist insurgency efforts have
the invitation of the government for another among the people. There is no private own- been characterized by brutality and corrup-
round of dialogue— and the scenarios are ership. tion and some people are of the belief that a
not that invigorating. After the War, the Huks took part in the section of the military feels it is in its interest
formation of the independent government in not really to totally defeat insurgencies, be-
Digging the roots 1946, and participated in the political arena. cause it gives them something to do—finan-
Its winners, however, were not allowed to cial gains if you may.
Inspired by Soviet communism, it was take seats in the legislature because they At the end of the day, it can be argued
in 1930 when the maiden Communist Party of were communists. Hence, they resumed their that the best panacea to insurgency is good
the Philippines (CPP) was organized and armed struggle calling themselves as governance. On the premise that commu-
aimed to establish a Soviet-type govern- Hukbong Magpapalaya ng Bayan (HBM). nism thrives on conflict or contradiction, it
ment in the Philippines. They also formed a The CPP then, was re-established on 1968 was the bad governance of Marcos that
military arm known as “Hukbalahap,” which following Maoist ideology in analyzing the gave it a lift, on the same breath that it
kept the resistance throughout the Japanese “chronic crisis” besetting the country. They plummeted during the administration of
occupation and contributed significantly to cried foul against US intervention in Philip- Ramos. It is no wonder therefore that this
the return of the United States in 1944. pine politics and denounced landlord domi- Arroyo government is an encouragement to
At its most basic, the ideal of commu- nation of the country’s economy. It was the growth of communist insurgency in the
nism is a system in which everyone is seen during the Marcos period that the CPP sym- country. I

Volume 40 • Number 1 15

patent paradox—or so it is. While tion—nay an outright oversimplification But, what did precipitate the contem-
the first day of the year, January 1, but albeit bordering likely on upright pes- porary ‘unpeace’ or declining world or-
is greeted with the annual celebra- simism—of current declining world order der?
tion of World Peace Day, the more ines- has been pushed further to even render Professor Richard Falk, a noted inter-
capable it seems to rather easily be en- the futility of the ever-strident yet never- national law and human rights expert,
gulfed by the dumbing din of ‘unpeace’— ending debate or discourse on peace, or readily attributes “America’s imperial geo-
division, conflicts, strifes and wars, vio- world peace in particular. “Really, it’s but politics” as the principal culprit for the
lence, terrorism, aggression and oppres- quite exasperating, if not plainly futile, to present-day ‘unpeace’ and declining world
sion, assault on civil liberties and human be talking about peace when year in and order. Similarly too, Chandra Muzzafar,
rights, etc.—all in the intra-national or year out, the victims of oppression, ag- president of the International Movement
domestic, national, regional, international, gression and exploitation continue to suf- for a Just World, cannot agree more in
and global levels. While modern-day ad- fer their lot and whereas the high and blaming America’s grand agenda of global
vancements in information and communi- mighty hold on to the status quo of con- hegemony that hurriedly sent its war drums
cation technology would have suppos- flict, violence, aggression, or oppression beating to invade Afghanistan and Iraq
edly narrowed the gaps to bring forth to perpetuate their dominance. I am cer- after the 9/11 tragedy and thereon precipi-
Marshall McLuhan’s “global village,” tainly for peace, but perhaps it is high time tated likewise America’s global war on
peoples and nations, as it were, are invari- to stop talking or cut short on rhetorics terror.
ably coming apart, if not polarized, at the and rather delve on concrete action or Not that US global hegemonic pur-
seams. tangible results for peace,” a prominent suits, and so with its grim consequences
Ostensibly, contemporary world Catholic archbishop from the Philippines of having claimed millions of human lives,
events—or, bluntly put, “protocols of the recently said. did only commence with the September 11,
new world (dis)order”—undeniably un- Curiously, wherefore, have the affairs 2001 tragic event—it even dates further
veil the despicable indicators of ‘unpeace’: of this one civilized world helplessly back to the 1940’s. Chandra Muzzafar, in
the continuing profligate occupation of pushed us to acquiesce both the egre- his article “The Tyranny of Terror; the
alien territories and subjugation of peoples gious impossibility, seemingly so, of col- Triumph of Truth ,” published in the No-
by powerful countries (US on Iraq, Af- lective human solidarity or world peace vember-December 2001 issue of Impact,
ghanistan, etc.; Israel on Palestine; Russia and the inevitability of war or violence? particularly notes, “US hegemony extends
on Chechnya and areas of Asian Dagestan; Or, have war, violence or aggression inevi- throughout the world…(it) began on 6
China on Tibet; Pakistan and India on tably become a permanent scourge, a sine August 1945 with the bombing of
Kashmir; Indonesia on West Papua and qua non to humanity and the world? Hiroshima which obliterated thousands of
Timor Leste; Morocco on Western Sa- innocent people from the face of the earth.
hara; and a lot more); the ethnic and reli- Pax Americana: The root of It is estimated that 3 million people died in
gious strifes in Sri Lanka, Bosnia and ‘unpeace’ or declining world Vietnam and Indochina so that the US
Rwanda; the lingering tensions between order could maintain its hegemonic power. And
China and Taiwan, North and South in Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile,
Koreas; the domestic armed struggles in In such spheres of war, inter-societal and indeed the whole of Latin America,
some countries (the Acehnese in Indone- or inter-national aggression, terrorism and from fifties to the eighties, tens of thou-
sia; the NPAs in the Philippines, not to armed conflict, the truism on the cyclical sands of innocent men, women and chil-
mention the country’s deepening political notion of history (“history repeats itself”) dren had perished as a result of a
crisis and alarming incidents of terrorism can no less be adduced. Gone are the superpower’s desire to perpetuate its con-
and criminal activities); intra-national and grand old glories of the Roman Empire, the trol and dominance through covert opera-
global arms trade; and, of course, not ex- regal exploits of Spanish and Portuguese tions, espionage activities, assassination
cluding the heightened global anxiety and conquistadores, the purportedly benign squads, economic strangulation and or-
fear carried out in the name of America’s pursuits of English and American colo- ganized political subversion.”
war on terror resulting to massive assault nialism, the horror of Hitler’s Germany and Likewise, on hindsight, authors Johan
on civil liberties and human rights—both World War II, and others more—but their Galtung and Dietrich Fischer (“To End Ter-
in domestic and international fronts—and similar repressive, exploitative, or oppres- rorism, End State Terrorism,” December
thus, more than ever, as not only few aptly sive upshots are invariably reverberated 2002 issue of Impact) claim that “since 1945,
observe, fragile freedoms are unwittingly even more to this day. The Israeli occupa- the US has intervened abroad 67 times
held under pressure in virtually every cor- tion and settlement of the West Bank and causing 12 million deaths, about half through
ner of the globe. Gaza, the Iran-Iraq war of 1980, the Soviet overt action by the Pentagon and the other
Inarguably hence, on cursory blush, invasion of Afghanistan and Chechnya, half through covert action by the CIA.”
the contemporary world, or even likely the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the US in And what about the death ledger sheet
since time immemorial, is yet bereft of a Afghanistan and Iraq, China in Tibet, the of America’s terror war in Iraq? Only last
universal and lasting peace, let alone the Russians in the Caucasus, India and Paki- month, early December of 2005, US Presi-
annual observance of World Peace Day. stan parceling up Kashmir—to mention a dent George Bush openly admitted before
Present-day realities—akin to the greedy few—are but present day repetitions of media reporters: “How many Iraqi citizens
‘protocols’ of global hegemony—undeni- humanity’s cyclical history of war, vio- have died in this war? I would say 30,000,
ably eschew or evade the possibility, much lence and armed conflict. Indeed, then as more or less, have died as a result of the
less the immanence, of a genuine human now, the fate of weaker nation-states are initial incursion and the ongoing violence
solidarity, world peace and cooperation. decided, if not dictated, by other powerful against Iraqis. We’ve lost about 2,140 of
Even more, for some, this candid estima- countries. our own troops in Iraq.”

16 IMPACT • January 2006

Peace in a
by Bob Acebedo

The marks of a declining world order are

inescapably telling—polarization of world
powers with the US spearheading the
global hegemony, vicious violence of ter-
rorism and counter-terrorism, repressive
upshots of globalization, domestic and
global arms trade, religious and ethnic-
racial strifes, and more. Are there yet
chances for peace?

Volume4040• Number
Volume • Number1 1 1717

America’s imperial geopolitics or glo-

bal hegemony provided its agenda for a
new world order (if disorder?)—Pax
Americana—equally spelling out its he-
gemonic stance on world peace. For the
US, to “maintain peace is to prepare for
war”—and for Bush, the world must ac-
cept war as the only moral and workable
option. But, verily, this is a rather es-
chewed world order policy cadged from
America’s abattoir of global imperialism;
while projecting itself as the world’s su-
per cop, America exposes all the more its
latent hegemonic interest of global eco-
nomic domination.
President Bush’s neo-conservative
policy-approach of ‘unilateralism’ best
exhibits or reflects America’s imperial geo-
politics. Bush’s strategic agenda or plans
were made evident in the National Secu-
rity Strategy document released in Sep-
tember 20, 2002. This document laid out
in stark, arrogant detail the US military
strategy and its political rationale. It
dismisses deterrence, containment and
other strategic perspectives as Cold War
relics. It unashamedly adopts The War on Terrorism Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, outside the pro-
‘unilateralism’ as an approach—on “con- tection of US courts and law. The US
vincing or compelling states to accept The 9/11 tragedy it was that Patriot Act which restricts the rights of
their sovereign responsibilities.” It prompted the Bush’s administration’s both citizens and non-citizens, has pro-
speaks in blunt terms what it calls “Ameri- launching of the global war on terrorism. vided a template for anti-terrorist laws in
can Internationalism,” i.e., ignoring inter- America’s invasion of Afghanistan and many countries. In Britain, more than
national opinion if that suits US interests. its unprovoked aggression in Iraq, as 500 people have been arrested on terror-
It asserts an American right to ‘preemp- well as the appalling assault on civil ist-related charges. Italy and Holland
tive attack’ against its perceived enemies liberties, have been carried out in the are number one and two in Europe in
whether individuals or governments. name of the war on terror. Since then, wiretapping their citizens. In Iraq, about
Of course, America’s enormous mili- President Bush has relentlessly been 20,000 armed soldiers are employed by
tary superiority worldwide—a principal trotting around the globe preaching the private military contractors, mostly from
requisite in carrying out its hegemonic gospel of terror war and prodding other Britain and the US. Russia has consis-
ends—cannot at all be doubted. From the nation-states to follow suit in drawing tently used War on Terror as an excuse
outbreak of World War II, America’s up and enacting counter-terrorism mea- to ‘engage in extrajudicial executions,
174,000 US Army reportedly rose to 1.4 sures that range from stringent overt- arrests and extortion of civilians as part
million “standing army” and 2.5 million covert police action to government-state of its continued occupation of Chechnya.
reserve army in 2001. And by far, as of legislations that run across or closely The Australian government has
date, the US maintains overseas military stifle human rights, civil liberties and scapegoated asylum-seekers as poten-
bases in almost 60 territories worldwide, fragile freedoms—and suddenly, every tial terrorists and either prevented them
which includes: Afghanistan, American corner of the world, from Bethlehem to from entering or kept them in prison
Samoa, Antigua, Australia, Austria, Ba- Bogota, is deigned prone to terror. camps. In Djibouti, 100,000 residents
hamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Britain, Touted as “Total Information Aware- were expelled in October 2003 because
Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, ness,” the Pentagon mustered every they represented a potential terrorist
Curacao, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, potential of modern information-com- ‘threat’ to the peace and security of the
France, Germany, Greenland, Guam, Hon- munication technology—closed circuit country. In Southern Thailand, Thai
duras, Iceland, Diego Garcia (Indian TV, biometrics, national identity cards, security forces were responsible for the
Ocean), Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Johnston PC monitoring, remote-sending satel- death of 78 Muslim demonstrators in fall
Atoll (Pacific), Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, lites, CAPPS (Computer Assisted Pas- of 2004. Bangladesh is trying to amend
Kwajalein Atoll (Pacific), Kygyzstan, Lux- senger Pre-Screening Index), etc.— to its telecommunications law to make ille-
emburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nor- scour data or information for the US gally intercepted emails usable as evi-
way, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Master Terror Watchlist, which now has dence in Court. In Uganda, the suppres-
Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, more than five million names on it. sion of Terrorism Bill 2001 imposes a
Singapore, Spain, St. Helena (Atlantic), The world picture of post-9/11 War mandatory death sentence for terrorists.
Tajikistan, Turkey, Egypt, Uzbekistan, on Terror is remarkably chilling. The US These and others more are appalling
Virgin Islands, Wake Island (Pacific). continues to hold over 600 detainees in consequences of America’s global war

18 IMPACT • January 2006

Peace in a Divided Word

on terror. an interview-article published in the conflicts, of terrorism and counter-terror-

However, critics—peace advocates March 2003 issue of Impact, Muzzafar ism conspicuously spawn to the fore but
and human rights activists—from all explained, “In many of the analyses that even also the likely irreconcilable clash
over the world are quick to assail that have emerged on the causes of terror- among peace ideologues who are all con-
America’s War on Terror is primarily ism, poverty has often been suggested triving to proffer their individual propos-
missing the point: it has miserably failed as one of the factors. This is totally off als or models of social order and peace.
to address the real roots of terrorism and the mark. Individuals and groups some- Likely enough, peace has invariably be-
has instead diverted the world’s atten- times resort to acts of terror in their come more complicated a concept to be
tion from the deeper roots of global inse- attempt to thwart the hegemonic grip of defined as it has even more become less
curity as poverty, disease and environ- some state or power, which, in their opin- realized in the concrete world order.
mental decline. Critics contend that ter- ion, has denied them justice or dignity. Certainly, however, all peace ideo-
rorism cannot simply be eliminated or The people involved in those acts of logues and advocates agree on the no-
resolved by a demonstration of military terror may be quite wealthy, as Osama tion that peace does imply not only the
force, dispatching troops, sealing bor- was, or well educated or even religious in negation or mere absence of war, conflict,
ders, or creating a world garrison state in the conventional sense. It is their per- or violence (such otherwise naively
which peoples may come to witness glo- ception of the denial of justice and dig- smacks of vacuous tranquility) but im-
bal surveillance, an all-inclusive control nity which is the critical factor. And portantly the active or workable presence
of private life, and a drastic reduction in what appears to figure prominently in and immanence of Justice, Dignity, Free-
the free circulation of citizens across the their notion of justice and dignity is the dom and Sovereignty, Truth, Compas-
planet, across borders. Terrorism, ac- question of identity and sovereignty. sion and Respect. But even so, just as the
cording to Michael Renner of The struggles of the Irish Republican absence of conflict or violence in a given
Worldwatch Institute, is “only symp- Army (IRA), the Basque movement in situation is already pragmatically elusive
tomatic of a far broader set of deep con- Spain, the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, the (and, more so, is practically impossible in
cerns that have produced a new age of Chechens in Russian, the Kashmiris in such case as total or absolute absence of
anxiety.” India, the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict or violence), the relatively vary-
Accordingly, Radmila Nakarada, all revolve around dignity, identity and ing notions and explications of Justice,
Belgrade University professor, points sovereignty. Indeed, if there is any one Freedom, Sovereignty and Dignity
out the far deeper roots of terrorism: issue that is central to the problem of equally pose to be problematic among
unresolved national aims or denial of terror it is the desire to affirm and assert different cultural settings.
statehood, and the inhuman side of glo- one’s identity.” Indeed, even as the current declining
balization. “Responses (to terrorism) world order has unfailingly accommo-
have been inappropriate because a blind The War of Peace Ideologies or dated the strident yearning for peace,
eye has been turned to the deeper eth- Models ideologies or models of peace and social
nic, social and cultural roots of terror- order do vary in many ways than one.
ism. The most widespread forms of ter- In such age of a declining world One, peace has often been associ-
rorism is linked to the unresolved na- order, not only the vicious cycle of vio- ated with development. Simply put, peace
tional aims and the denial of a statehood lence (as that of 9/11 to Afghanistan and springs forth with development. But again,
that is violently pursued. The tragedy in Iraq invasions), of lingering protracted development is obviously so broad a term
America represents a ‘novelty’ because, intra-national and inter-national strifes or as it is in meaning and concept and is
for the first time, the target was not just
the US as a state but as the hegemonic
actor of global order…the repressive,
inhuman side of globalization is a pow-
erful source of terrorism. Hand in hand
across the planet march the fabulous
wealth of the greedy giants, and the
globalization of poverty. The passive
hopelessness and helplessness is trans-
formed into active extremism and funda-
mentalism which constitute the broad
social base of small terrorist groups. In
addition, the aggressive globalization
driving forcefully the world into a uni-
form cultural mould inevitably provokes
violent reactions,” noted Nakarada in
his article “The Tragedy of a Tragedy:
Global Terrorism and Repressive Glo-
But, as poverty has often been fac-
tored to fuel terrorism, Chandra Muzzafar
of the International Movement for a Just
World particularly opposes the claim. In

Volume 40 • Number 1 19

openly suspect to some qualifying or proposals are too centralizing, even if

delimiting specifications—economic, cul- federal structure is postulated. They
tural, religious-spiritual, etc. The prob- make Hobbesian assumption about hu-
lem becomes manifest when peace is nar- man nature, and extend them to the inter-
rowly equated to construe a limited as- national arena: just as individuals need a
pect of development, e.g. economic, and strong government to prevent them from
the other essential elements are over- mutual killing and stealing, so do nations.
looked. The Hobbesian solution is adopted, giv-
Then, there is the “classless soci- ing the government a monopoly of vio-
ety” ideological model of peace, repre- lence. Some schemes suggest that nuclear
sented by Marxist-communism. Peace, it weapons should be transferred to the
is argued, is attained at the cost of relent- world government, while individual na-
less class struggle or conflict. However, tions are disarmed. This begs the ques-
the utopia of “classless society” has been tion of tyranny—what if those central-
proven historically, if not pragmatically, ized weapons of mass destruction are
unfeasible as demonstrated by the break- used to terrorize everybody into obeying
down of Communist Europe. a tyrant? The world government model at
Also, others—Asians particularly— its worst is too state-oriented, ignoring
would yearn with coveted emulation for other actors on the world stage, such as
peace formulae demonstrated or modeled people’s organizations, churches, or mul-
by the touted “economic miracles” of tinational corporations…
developed countries in Asia—the state- “The nonviolence model also has
authoritarianism of Singapore, the demo- drawbacks. It tends to be anarchist, as
cratic religious-political tolerance of Ma- does the Green Movement. While ‘small’
laysia, the protectionist approach of Ja- may be ‘beautiful’, global problems still
pan, and others. But still, it may be gleaned require global solutions. Radioactive con-
that Asia is so diverse in culture that tamination, acid rain, and global warming
individual countries have trekked the path do not respect national borders, or even
of development along with their endemic the borders of bio-regions. The
cultural ingredients. movement’s model of human nature tends
But, on the whole, notwithstanding to be in the ‘noble savage’ tradition of
the foregoing models or approaches of Rousseau: people would get along just anxiety of terrorism and counter-terror-
peace, Hannah Newcombe of Peace Re- fine if governments left them alone. Hu- ism; intra-national and inter-national
search Institute Dundas contends that man nature is likely to be somewhere armed conflicts—are there yet chances
the debate or battle of peace models— between the conceptions of Hobbes and for peace?
viewed on long-range, fundamental ap- Rousseau. The prohibition of violence is Indeed, even peace ideologues are
proaches—is narrowed down to only two sometimes too extreme; a pilot gone crazy not one in contriving a common formula
basic models: one is “world federal gov- and about to bomb Russia and trigger for peace. But there is no arguing though
ernment” and the other is “principled nuclear war should not be shot down, that the world certainly shares a com-
nonviolence.” according to this absolutist view. Also, mon humanity and that peace is indeed
The proponents of these two alter- avoidance of verbal and psychological an “irrepressible yearning present in the
natives to the current world order, ac- violence as well as physical violence heart of each person, regardless of his or
cording to Newcombe, have not always would leave us almost unable to commu- her particular cultural identity.” For
been on friendly terms. “The pacifist nicate in conflict situations. No manipu- such, hence, some common grounds may
wing of the peace movement has faulted lation or coercion? This seems equally be postulated to pave the way or chances
world government model for its contin- unrealistic; we all do it all the time, though of peace.
ued reliance on violence i.e. enforcing usually without physical violence. More- One, there’s no denying that man is
world law against international criminals, over, in practice the nonviolent move- social by nature. The Second Vatican
or UN peacekeeping forces using weap- ment also manipulates and coerces oth- Council aptly puts it: “God did not create
ons, even if rarely. The internationalist ers. While the world-government is too man for life in isolation, but for the for-
wing of the peace movement saw nonvio- statist, the nonviolence movement is too mation of social unity.” And even a
lence as offering no answers to the prob- individualist.” consideration of man’s physical and
lem of deliberate evil-doers,” Newcombe psychological characteristics also
said. Grounds for Optimism shows man’s natural sociability. Hence,
The two approaches or models, world between the individual man and society,
federal government and principled non- In the face of the current declining the common good holds eminence over
violence, if taken to extremes, have their world order—polarization of world pow- the private good. If peace then can be
individual definitive drawbacks. ers spearheaded by America’s global equated as good, it is imperative that it
Newcombe explains the individual char- hegemony; inhuman or repressive con- be oriented towards the good of soci-
acteristics and limitations of the two sequences of globalization; domestic ety—or “the greatest interest for the
models: and global arms trade; religious, ethnic greater number of people”—over pri-
“At its worst, the world government and racial strifes and violence; global vate good or individual interest.

20 IMPACT • January 2006

New Year's / from p. 27

articuprocess is accounted for in the ated the sun, the moon and the stars,
Bible as an angel wrestling with him the the birds of the air, the fishes in the sea,
whole night. At the end, he was given the beasts in the field, and finally man,
a name, a new one, a new beginning he was actually hovering in the dark-
because of what he discovered in him- ness of chaos, of night. When he freed
self. He was called “Israel”, that is, His people from the slavery of Egypt,
strong with God. That night experience he was there under cover of the night,
gave Jacob the strength to face his fighting alone the enemy of his chosen
brother and all the other succeeding people. And when the fullness of time
events of his life. He was reconciled not came, God came into this world to bring
only to his brother, but to himself. The peace to all men of good will—it was
night helped him did that. night.
Yes, the night offers inwardness, it And so, when I saw our people
offers aloneness. Freed of vision, we braved the nights of Christmas and
see inside. Primary concerns emerge; shook off with disdain the heavy rain,
much that seemed demanding and im- the muddy road, and the black outs,
portant is now seen as a trick played by then with high hope I said: Our nation
the light. As one poet said: “Darkness will survive. It nurtures people who
is the black cape of the magician laid know the power of the night and the
gently upon the world, until all that need for God.
seemed certain vanishes, and we ques- Happy New Year!
tion comprehension itself. We can then
search in a new way. It is no wonder +LEONARDO Y. MEDROSO, DD
that God works at night. When he cre- Bishop of Borongan

Another is that, in such an imper-

fect world, there’s no arguing the fact
that all forms of violence, including
verbal and psychological, cannot be
totally eradicated or eliminated; other-
wise, as Newcombe said, “avoidance of
verbal and psychological violence as
well as physical violence would leave
us almost unable to communicate in
conflict situations.” Moreover,
Newcombe adds, the absence of any
form of manipulation or coercion seems
equally unrealistic. But even so, not-
Oh God, bless this nation in crisis.
withstanding the declining order, the
imperfect world is certainly not devoid
Heal our country’s wounds.
of order or, nonetheless, the possibility
for greater order or growth—and hence,
Unite the Silent Majority who long for
likewise the possibility or chances for
truth, justice, and peace.
Finally, no doubt, violence indeed
germinates or begins in the minds or
Grant us the power and wisdom to fight
hearts of people. Hence, the efforts or
work of peace—and its related tenets as for the common welfare.
intercultural sensitivity, mutual respect,
shared spirituality, sense of social jus- Help us seal the door where evil dwells.
tice, etc.—to conquer or resolve vio-
lence should likewise begin in the hearts May light, love and grace restore God’s
and minds of people. Peace, wherefore,
likewise srpings forth from the heart of plan for us.
man — and a “heart of peace” might just http://www.silentmajorityprayer.org/
as well pave for a “world of peace.” I

Volume 40 • Number 1 21

ements with an arbitrary and abrupt move.

Sex and
There are other manifestations of the same
Another feminist group, now band-
ing themselves as an NGO in Bohol, is
busy teaching young girls about the dif-
ferent techniques of safe sex, including a

“taste test” of the different flavors
condoms now have.
The problem with the radical feminist
movement is that while it raises legitimate
questions and issues worthy of public
attention and concern, it also pursues and
promotes an ideology that not only is anti-
Christian, but also is clearly anti-human.
Thus, its proponents deftly use nice
words and concepts, such as reproduc-
tive health, responsible parenthood, and
the like, while at the same time rewriting
moral law by promoting contraception,
sterilization, even abortion.
They can talk about rights of women
over their own bodies, taking this to mean
that women have the absolute right to do
anything with their bodies because these
are theirs. In short, the Church should not
pontificate on this matter. Let the women
be absolutely free with respect to their
Now, in many international confer-
ences, radical feminists not only make a
distinction between sex and gender, be-
tween the natural differences between men
and women and the cultural and historical
attitudes related to these natural differ-
They are separating them, detaching
gender completely from sex, and making
gender a purely cultural thing with no
relation to the sexual nature of the person.
Thus, because of this emphasis on
gender, as defined and understood by
them, any person can be anything he or
she likes—masculine, feminine, homo-
by Fr. Roy Cimagala sexual, bisexual, etc., irrespective of one’s
natural sexual condition. Every so-called
sexual orientation chosen by a person

f the title baffles you, it may be because Imagine, in a supposedly Catholic would just be all right.
you are still happily unaware of the school run by nuns, the little girls are This is the kind of mentality that is
questionable moves some radical femi- taught not anymore to address God as being propagated by some feminist groups
nists are making in many places nowa- Father, because according to them God these days. This is a clear case of what is
days. has no sex and gender. Similar efforts to termed by the present Pope as moral rela-
This may still be a good thing to have, neuter Jesus Christ are reportedly being tivism about which he is warning all of us.
but I must hasten to say that we cannot made too. This is neither progress nor growth in
and should not be naive and complacent The parents, of course, were alarmed. maturity. This is a regression to barbarian-
with this development. Though it affects A mother complained why such fuss was ism.
more the advanced countries, it is actually raised over this matter, when it is quite While we all have to love one another
also affecting us in our own country. clear that in the Bible, God is referred to as as we are, this charity does not mean we
Even in my native Bohol, once a sleepy Father or Son or Holy Spirit. can totally forget the objective truth of
place but now, thanks be to God, bustling This, to me, already sounds like a things. We have to learn to blend both,
with life due to tourism, these disturbing radical feminist paranoia, that tries to undo because one without the other nullifies or
maneuvers are taking place. well-entrenched historical and cultural el- empties both. I

22 IMPACT • January 2006


Author C. S. Lewis is said

© Royalty-Free/CORBIS
CATHOLIC INITIATIVE to have believed that anything
worth reading will be appreci-
FOR E NLIGHTENED ated by everyone, whether he
MOVIE APPRECIATION is aged 5 or 50. The Chronicles
of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe proves
Lewis is right about believing
so. Young and old alike will
find meaning in the film which
Title: NARNIA is replete with religious sym-
Running Time: 139 mins
Lead Cast: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William bols that are unmistakably
Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Christian. Aslan the lion is
Jim Broadbent, Liam Neeson (voice) Christ-like in his being “a will-
Director: Andrew Adamson
Producers: Mark Johnson, Philip Steur ing victim ... killed in a traitor’s
Screenwriters: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, stead”?he is slain in a ritual on
Christopher Markus, Stephen Mcfeely a stone table, but he also res-
Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
Genre: Fantasy
urrects, first witnessed by
Cinematography: Donald McAlpine women, and revives with his
Distributor: Walt Disney breath the Narnians that had
Location: England been turned to stone under the
Technical Assessment: @@@½
Moral Assessment: ###½ spell of the White Witch.
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 13 and below with (Date Reviewed: 13 January 2006 @
parental guidance cbcpworld.com/cinema)

o keep them away and protected from the
Nazi air raids, the Pevensie children?Lucy
(Georgie Henly), Edward (Skandar
Keynes), Edmund (William Moseley), and Su-
san (Anna Popplewell)?are evacuated from Lon-
don and sent to live in the huge country house
of an eccentric professor (Jim Broadbent). One
day, while playing hide-and-seek, Lucy, the
youngest, enters a veiled armoire to hide but
instead walks into a wintry landscape where she
is befriended by Mr. Tumnus, a faun (James
McAvoy). She returns home to tell of her expe-
rience but nobody believes her, until her brother
Edmund sees for himself the truth of Lucy’s
story. Then all Pevensie children venture into
the magical world of mythical creatures and
talking animals to rescue Mr. Tumnus who is
imprisoned for fraternizing with Lucy. They
eventually get involved in a fight and take the
side of Narnia’s lion Aslan (voice of Liam
Neeson) against the evil White Witch (Tilda
C.S. Lewis’ beloved children’s fantasy, The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and
the Wardrobe was first published in 1950 and
has since been made into a stage production,
television series and animated feature. Disney’s
$150-million adaptation of this first of the seven
chronicles is a cinematic marvel that amazes us
with fantastic computerized images that enhance
instead of upstage the human presence in the
film. It is an imaginative but faith-friendly film
that remains true to the adventure story and
truly delivers Lewis’s message of heroism.

Volume 40 • Number 1 23


vangelization is the fundamental
mission of the Church. The mis-
sion mandates and commits the
Church to proclaim the Gospel truths.
The proclamation is focused on the good
news of human salvation brought about
by the life and teaching of Christ. The
teaching is focused on the love of God
and the love of neighbor.
Love of neighbor means to guide
the wealthy and to help the poor, to
advise the powerful and to assist the
weak, to correct what is wrong and pro-
mote what is right, to counter vice and
inculcate virtue.
Love of neighbor covers working

not only for charity but also for justice,
preaching not only for the forgiveness
of sinners but also asking their repen-
tance, looking not only for the eternal
good of people but also for their tempo-
ral welfare here and now.

Love of neighbor includes not only
praising the Lord but also caring for
people, not only teaching piety and
devotion but also engaging in social
action and reform, not merely arranging
novenas and processions but also cen-
suring lies and deceit, searching for

he once vainly proclaimed “Strong “Pearl of the Orient”, there are neverthe-
truth and working for peace.
Evangelization is not exactly a sac- Republic” has degenerated into a less continuous travel warnings to for-
Gambling Republic. It has in fact eigners to avoid seeing it. Time and
risty work, neither does it imply a com-
fortable and serene lifestyle, nor a sim- even now deteriorated to a Hungry Re- again the Administration claims a fast
public. What is very strange is that while growing economy, still it is but the OFW
ply pleasant and pleasing activity. Oth-
erwise the first Evangelizer, Christ, the peso has become strong, it has less composite remittance that keeps the
buying power. There are lesser meals country afloat.
would not have been denounced and
tortured, crucified and killed even. taken in the country. Hence, there is Something must be radically wrong
hunger among many people of this once neither with the country nor its people—
If the Church plays blind, deaf and
dumb to fraud, graft and corruption, to happy and peaceful republic. but with their governance. There should
There are more taxes yet there are be wrong persons holding key public
violation of human rights and injustice,
to socio-political immorality and dema- less public services rendered in the land. offices in the land. The liability cannot
The composite national debt is much be on the followers but their leaders.
goguery, such would be a mockery of
evangelization, and insult to love of bigger but national development is mea- The ultimate victims of this pitiful phe-
ger if any. Those in power sing promis- nomenon are the same—the people in
neighbor, a betrayal of her mission.
The Church should be the constant ing songs but the common tao hear dis- general, the women and children in par-
tressing cries. As the Administration ticular.
worry and big headache to those who
play god and exploit people, who act as makes more and more elating promises History teaches the empirical les-
and glowing predictions, people experi- son that empty stomachs have no ears.
the owner of the country and the Lord of
the citizens. They cannot do it for long, ence bigger despair and discontent. A hungry republic cannot continue to
Whatever happened to the glorious stand. A hungry people will not suffer
much less, for keeps. Reason: they are
not and will never be! Ten-Point Agenda trumpeted in 2004 long and much. Promises do not rem-
before the elections? Where became of edy hunger. Simply big words do not fill
Evangelization is not for those who
love themselves but not their neigh- all the glowing post-election SONA high- even but a small stomach. The mere
lights? How come all the glory thereforth rhetoric of the Administration and the
bors, who only see the beauty of heaven
but overlook the dirt on earth. kept going and is now all gone? loud complimenting chorus of the its
Seen a rich country, yet the govern- well clothed and much fed minions
Among others, let the present ad-
ministration know, understand and re- ment is bankrupt and the people are now would not satisfy national hunger.
poorer. Considered as a paradise, both Something somehow shall give in some-
member what evangelization really is.
the professionals and simple workers time.
however are leaving it behind. Called the www.ovc.blogspot.com

24 IMPACT • January 2006


Moral Ascendancy
ome call it high moral ground. Others say texting bad jokes about their leader. But it is
strong moral authority. There are those even more lamentable and pathetic when the
who know it as moral ascendancy. They all leader concerned appear unconcerned and un-
mean essentially the same: The well felt moral moved by such degrading actions and disre-
persuasion of someone who is held beyond sus- spectful reactions.
picion of evil design and malicious agenda. And Herein lies the fundamental socio-political
blessed are those who wield moral ascendancy. predicament of the Malacañang President. There
This is especially applicable to those in tenure of is the common perception that it is much more
a public office which is considered a public trust. important for her to be practical than to be moral
The same has a particular relevance for someone in what she plans and does. It appears to many
who exercises no less than the highest executive that she seems more preoccupied in keeping
office in the land. armed power than in having moral authority.
It is rather easy for someone to govern when The result of her perceived lack of moral
he or she enjoys the respect and confidence of ascendancy is predictable. Her motives and plans,
the public. It is a matter of course for citizens to her programs and projects are met, rightly or
follow and abide by the biddings of their leader wrongly, with suspicion and rejection. She may
who lives with righteousness. Moral ascendancy want to lead but it is not followed. She may be
is what connects the one governing and the gov- working hard but to no avail. Unless a leader
erned, what cements their mutual appreciation enjoys even but the semblance of moral ascen-
and deference. dancy, the leadership is doomed to fail from the
Moral degradation is the exact opposite. It very start. This is the basic premise of the big and
is both a sad and pitiful spectacle to behold lasting socio-political liability of the proclaimed—
followers making fun, doing odious effigies, not acclaimed—President.

Volume 40 • Number 1 25

respected and realized”. Hence, the way of

peace and the way to peace is by respect-

In Truth,
ing the truth about man, i.e., the truth
about the persons I am leading or in con-
tact with. In this way I will learn how to be
in right relationship with him/her. Respect
for the truth of a person produces a peace-

ful relationship with him/her.
The Holy Father wrote: “Any authen-
tic search for peace must begin with the
realization that the problem of truth and
untruth is the concern of every man and
woman; it is decisive for the peaceful fu-
ture of our planet.” Wars and production
of weapons, acts of terrorism, violations of
human rights, disturbance of harmonious
A New Year ’s Message coexistence; these have their source in
untruth or false beliefs about man. “The
truth of peace calls upon everyone to
cultivate productive and sincere relation-
ships; it encourages them to seek out and
to follow the paths of forgiveness and
reconciliation, to be transparent in their
dealings with others, and to be faithful to
their word.” All kinds and all manners of
lies are likely to disturb peaceful relations
of people to one another. “Lying is linked
to the tragedy of sin and its perverse
consequences, which have had, and con-
tinue to have, devastating effects on the
lives of individuals and nations.”
Pope Benedict XVI continues his
message: “If peace is to be authentic and
lasting, it must be built on the bedrock of
the truth about God and truth about man.
This truth alone can create sensitivity to
justice and openness to love and solidar-
ity, while encouraging everyone to work
for a truly free and harmonious human
family. The foundations of authentic peace
rest on the truth about God and man.”
At this point in time, in our country, if
we want to work for national renewal and
transformation, if we want peace in our
social and political relationships, we must
make every effort to value and to witness
to truth. This is very basic in human
transaction. Truth is the foundation of
integrity, credibility and accountability.
The opposite is true: lies destroy integrity,
credibility and accountability. Truth
builds, untruth destroys. We can apply
this to simple friendship, family and com-

ollowing the tradition by his prede- The theme chosen for this year’s re- munity relationship, social order. Parents,
cessors, Popes Paul VI and John flection is “In Truth, Peace”. This theme businessmen, leaders in all levers of soci-
Paul II, Pope Benedicts XVI has is- “express the conviction that wherever and ety must build their integrity and credibil-
sued a message of peace for today, the first whenever men and women are enlightened ity on the bedrock of truth. This is how to
day of January 2006. Our greetings then to by the splendor of truth, they naturally set build peace. “In truth, peace.”
one another “Happy New Year” must in- out on the path of peace.” St. Augustine
clude our desire to be with the Holy Father described peace as tranquillitas ordinis, +ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD
in praying and witnessing for peace, not the tranquility of order. By this St. Augus- Archbishop of Jaro
only today but throughout the coming tine meant a situation which ultimately President, Catholic Bishops’
year. enables the truth about man to be truly Conference of the Philippines

26 IMPACT • January 2006


s the year 2006 steps hesitantly into
our life and history, I would like to

New Year’s Message

extend this message of hope.
2005 has been a tumultuous year.
Endless inquiries in the senate and in the
house of Congress, rallies and political
protests in all their eerie forms and gro-
tesque shapes, accusations and counter-
accusations, exposition of unheard-of
scandals and variegated scams allegedly
perpetrated by our top leaders, wiretap-
ping, destabilization talks, revolutions, civil
disobedience, what have you, have been
the main course for the days, weeks,
months of the year 2005. All these did not
bother me so much. I know, after all, that
“tayo ay mga pinoy”, that is, we can go
over it. But when the congressional inves-
tigation of the “hello Garci case” started,
I shuddered. I said to myself: this is it, this
is our end. The investigative process
seemed to dramatize that there is nothing
wrong in flaunting with the law provided
we are wise and crafty. It wrongly projects
an image that the law is there to be used as
a shield, a safety net for one’s wrong
doing; that it is easy to tamper with the law
and get away with it by flourishing the
magic wand of one’s knowledge of the law,
manipulating it to one’s selfish advan-
tage, mixing lies and truths together in one
single stroke. I tremble, because no soci-
ety can long stand when its laws that bind
members together in a harmonious and
dynamic whole are used for selfish mo-
tives, with complete disregard for the com-
mon good.
But then, something happened. There
was a sudden relative silence on the issue
in the whole nation and the mass media,
the papers, radio and television veered on
other interests than political squabbles.
The atmosphere of December got clearer
and cleaner, the people became more calm,
composed, serene. What happened? It
was just days before Christmas. People We are best touched by night. Per- calm. I too remember the story of a great
were seen retiring to the silence of their haps it is because it gives one the sure existentialist philosopher of our times. The
homes and places of prayer. They braved reenactments of childhood experiences, a story says that one day he looked at him-
the otherwise dumpy and dark night to time when one sees his early tender years self in the mirror. He could not recognize
attend the Misa de Gallo novena days, as with full clarity and force. It is a time when himself; he was so disgusted at what he
if seeking for the needed respite from the our estimate of the world is not so confi- saw that with his bare fist he shattered the
world. I myself went to these nights of dent, when it contains things and events large mirror that reflected him.
novenas, starting from the remote par- that make us shudder. Sooner or later, the Yes, it is not easy to face oneself. And
ishes up to the Cathedral. In all of these night finds us alone. And man is not yet, it is only in this act of facing and
churches, inspite of the stormy weather prepared to face himself. He is afraid of the confronting one’s own self that man finds
and the black outs, people were seen in dark, he is afraid of himself. This brings us his inner strength, his hidden resources,
throng, praying on their knees. There, I to the story of Adam and Eve who were his power, which man cannot do unless he
concluded: Our nation will survive in spite ashamed of their own naked bodies after is covered by the magical canopy of the
of the rather hopeless situation. We have eating the forbidden fruit. When God called darkness of the night. The story of the
citizens who know how to solve their prob- them up, they were hiding behind the tree, beauty and the beast bears this out
lem: they know well the power of the night more afraid to present themselves naked
and the power of prayer. to God. God has to cloth them to keep them New Year's / p. 21

Volume 40 • Number 1 27

Be Happy Today!
e convince ourselves that life will be better after we get
married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frus
trated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more
content when they are.
After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal
with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse
gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to
go on a nice vacation, or when we retire.
The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right
now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with
challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be
happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment
that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with

someone special, special enough to spend your time with...and
remember that time waits for no one.
So, stop waiting
* until your house is paid off
* until your kids leave the house
* until you go back to school

* until you lose ten pounds
* until you gain ten pounds
* until you finish school
* until you get married
* until you have kids
* until you retire
* until summer

grew up in the 50s/60s with practical parents. A mother, God
* until spring love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then
* until winter
* until fall reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had
* until you die a name for it... A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed
There is no better time than than buying new ones.
right now to be happy. Hap- Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best
piness is a journey, not a friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in
destination. So—work trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower
like you don’t need in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing
money, love like things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven
you’ve never been door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that
hurt, and dance like no
one’s watching. re-fixing, eating, renewing. I wanted just once to be wasteful.
Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew
there’d always be more.
But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night,
in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of
learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and
goes away...never to return. So... while we have it... it’s best we
love it.... and care for it... and fix it when it’s broken...... and heal
it when it’s sick.
This is true for marriage..... and old cars.... and children with
bad report cards..... and dogs with bad hips.... and aging par-
ents..... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth
it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend

that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like
people we know who are special..... and so, we keep them close!

28 IMPACT • January 2006


Sites on Focus

Last December 2005 issue, we have showcased some school website CBCPWorld had http://www.rcam.org/spcp
developed. In this January issue of Impact, we are featuring parish websites. For some
reasons, parish websites are used as a means of connecting parishioners with their Originally under the stewardship of the
Congregation of the Passion, the St. Paul
pastors and staff through special messages or sermon/homilies. It is also an easy way of the Cross in Concepcion Dos, Marikina
for church members to get to know their parish priest and committees, the foundation City was established on April 21, 1975 by
of the parish, and learn of their views on ethical and timely issues. Extending and the decree of His Eminence, the late Jaime
harnessing the power of the web to futher deliver the good news. Cardinal L. Sin.
In February 2004, the parish was turned-
over to the care and shepherding of the
Diocese of Antipolo with Fr. Ric Eguia as
http://www.cbcpworld.com/ the parish priest and Fr. Jimmy Padilla as
christtheking-taytay parochial vicar. Their joined efforts
brought another milestone in the history
On May 15, 1983, the Doicese of Antipolo of the parish.
founded the Chirst the King Parish on the
small barrio of Muzon, Taytay, Rizal.
Together with the concerted efforts of Fr.
Peter Julian Eymard C. Balatbat and the
parish pastoral council, the reconstruc-
tion of the church is now coming to a


The feast of Our Lady of the Most Blessed

Sacrament is celebrated every 13th of
May. Akin to its origin, St. Peter Julian
Eymard, known as "The Priest of the Eu-
charist" and "The Apostle of the Eucha-
rist" founded the "Congregation of the
Most Blessed Sacrament" at Paris on May
13, 1856.
Under the leadership of Fr. Jade Licuanan,
he continues to lead the community in
achieving the dream of having a new,
beautiful and bigger parish church and in
moving towards being a renewed Chris-
tian community.

Located at United Parañaque Subdivision
5, Sucat, Parañaque City, the Our Lady of The Holy Trinity Church is a Parish
Unity Parish is still growing since its es- Church located in Quezon City. Founded
tablishment on July 1, 1989. As the third in the early 1970’s, it aims reaching and
parish priest installed, Fr. Amado V. Gino influencing the whole community, touch
is strengthening its parish mission of deep- every sphere of human life and guide
ening the faith and encouraging participa- them in their spiritual pilgrimage into the
tion in all sectors of the parish commu- future that God is calling. Fr. Joseph
nity. The parish feastday, which was sub- Raymund Biliran, the parish priest, goes
sequently transferred, is celebrated on to the mission areas in the parish and
September 8 in honor of the birth of the touches the hearts of parishioners through
Blessed Virgin Mother - Our Lady of Unity. the BEC approach.

Volume 40 • Number 1 29

CAMBODIA INDIA ports, according to fig- ties. HRW also said that
ures from oil company flawed blacklists were
HR groups demand re- Repeal Colonial-Era BP PLC. used in the 2003 “war on
lease of jailed activists Sodomy Law drugs” wherein around
2,500 Thais were killed in
Human rights advo- The new arrest of four TAIWAN “unexplained circum-
cates are pressing the gay men in Lucknow last stances.”
Cambodian government to January 4 shows that Taiwan develops new
release jailed leading hu- India’s colonial-era sod- cruise missile
man rights activists Kem omy law continues to PAKISTAN
Sokha and Yeng Virak. threaten human rights and Taiwan has produced
“The arrest of rights ac- encourages the spread of another type of cruise mis- 15 killed in gas field
tivists, as well as recent HIV, Human Rights Watch sile as part of their strat- blast
show trials of opposition said January 11. Nabbed egy of active defense.
politicians, is a throw- suspects were charged for Three prototypes of a new Twelve of around 40
back to the days when operating a “gay racket” cruise missile were devel- militants attacking a gas
Hun Sen ran a one-party on the internet, as well as oped with a potential range field adjacent the small
state,” said Brad Adams, of engaging in “unnatural” of 1000 km, more than town of Pir Koh, in
HRW Asia Director. sex. Scott Long, director enough to reach targets troubled south-west Paki-
Sokha, Cambodian Cen- of Human Rights Watch’s along the coast of main- stan were killed in fight-
ter for Human Rights Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, land China. Dubbed ing with security forces
(CCHR) president, and and Transgender Rights Hsiung Feng 2E (Brave on January 12. Baluch
Virak, Community Legal Program said: “India’s Wind), the missile “will be militants have been bat-
Education Center (CLEC) government clings to the deployed on mobile land- tling for decades to fight
Director, were detained criminalization of homo- based platforms and initial over the control of gas
on December 31 in con- sexual conduct, which plans are drawn for the and other natural re-
nection with handwritten only prevents people from production of up to 50 sources. Government
comments attacking Prime coming forward for HIV/ missiles before 2010 and forces launched its recent
Minister Hun Sen on a ban- AIDS testing, information, up to 500 missiles after offensive in Baluchistan
ner flaunted at an Inter- and services.” 2010,” Jane’s Defence after a December 14
national Human Rights Weekly said in an article rocket assault on a para-
Day celebration recently. published January 11. military base when Presi-
KAZAKHSTAN dent Pervez Musharraf
was visiting a nearby
CHINA Kazakhstan opens pipe- THAILAND town.
line to China
‘No spitting’ campaign ‘Blacklists’ create cli-
ahead of Olympics Via East Asia Watch, mate of fear— HRW SRI LANKA
Kazakhstan has opened a
Xinhuanet has re- new oil pipeline to China. Think tank Human Rebels attack navy boat,
ported that the Beijing The 625-mile pipeline de- Rights Watch (HRW) 15 missing
municipal government signed to carry 140 mil- urged the Thai government
will launch a major anti- lion barrels of oil a year. to end its use of blacklists Fifteen sailors were
spitting and anti-littering Kazakhstan is aiming to of suspected militants, missing and feared dead
campaign ahead of the more than double its pro- “which could lead to arbi- after suspected Tamil Ti-
city’s hosting of the duction from 1.3 million trary detentions and mis- ger rebels attacked a naval
2008 Olympics. For barrels to 3 million bar- treatment of people in cus- vessel off Sri Lanka’s east
everybody’s ease, rels a day by 2015. For tody.” HRW research re- coast early dawn on Janu-
Beijing will set up trash China, the new route is a vealed that with more than ary 13. According to re-
cans every 100 meters in key step toward secur- a thousand deaths since a ports, the recent incident
the city’s main avenues ing adequate foreign en- new spate of insurgency comes amid series of at-
and other public areas ergy supplies for its began in January 2004, tacks against the island’s
and provide handy sani- booming economy. Out Thai authorities are in- government forces by the
tary bags for people to of China’s total oil con- creasingly using flawed suspected leftists who
spit into on buses, taxis sumption last year of 6.7 blacklists to pressure Mus- have warned to continue
and other public facili- million barrels a day, al- lim villagers to turn them- their armed struggle un-
ties. most half came from im- selves in to the authori- less given wide autonomy.

30 IMPACT • January 2006

Volume 40 • Number 1 31